Showing posts from January, 1999


Today the family has become more sure that ever that I will talk in the future. I think I said my very first word! It is the most important word of all: EAT! ("eten" in Dutch). Hilke and Jan both thought it was Sophia who said it, but honestly, it was me. I am so proud of myself! Later that night, Sophia and me were so tired that we both fell asleep. I have to admit, a shoulder is a nice soft warm place to sleep on.

High and Mighty

This morning, I climbed up all the way to Hilke's shoulder and sat there proudly. Then, we both climbed the stairs (Hilke held me, but that wasn't really necessary) to wake up Sophia. Normally she hates getting out of bed, but this morning she woke up laughing. I guess it must be funny to wake up face to face with a parrot.


For me it is getting easier all the time to eat by myself. I am crazy about bananas and mandarins and I am able to crush some seeds as well. I like eating. I still take a long time to finish my diner, but that is partly because I like to play with it as well as eat it. However, I am always very glad to receive some baby formula in the morning and after a long day of playing and singing.

Beak Ball

Sophia and me have developed a new game called Beak Ball. It goes like this: she gently throws the ball at me and I hit it with my beak. Then we both run after it and the first to reach it gets a point. Needless to say that I am the one who usually wins...

Red Tail? Yes!

Another week older! Nine weeks old now, but I feel the same as yesterday, when I was only eight weeks old. I am beginning to look like a proper African Grey though, with my wings all feathered in colorful gray and the first signs of a red tail.


I the three weeks I have been living with the Van der Nent family, I have come to know quite a few family routines. The one that is best noticeable because it is so much in my own interest, is the food routine. Every time my dinner is ready, my family use the same phrases: "Dandy, do you want to eat ? Come on, we're going to eat ! Yes, let's eat now!" Then they pick me up and feed me. At first I did not react, but lately I have started answering them with a loud "Yelp! Yelp! YELP!!! ", as soon as I hear it. I can't say "Yes" yet, but I will, one day.

Screech! Eek!

I decided to scare my family and show how I can walk on the wild side if I want to. In my minds eye I made up a frightening danger and chased it away with my voice! Hilke thought something was wrong with her washing machine and Jan was afraid I had choked. I calmed down soon enough, but when Sophia came home from her job and heard what had happened, she was concerned too. Silly creatures, stop worrying so much about me! I am just growing up.

My Toys

Shall I show off with all my toys? So far I've got: some plastic baby toy keys on a ring, a few cat bells (a ball with a little bell inside), a budgie bell on a chain, and some baby toys to hang in my future cage. Aw, yes, and an empty toilet roll to chew on and rip it apart. I love it when a family member puts me on the floor and lets me play with all my toys, especially if he or she plays along with me. I think I am the most spoiled parrot in the whole world, but don't think I'm complaining!

Boxed In

Since I am not big enough to sleep in my cage yet, I still live in the same large cardboard box with sawdust at the bottom. My family has reasons to believe that soon I will be able to climb out of it. They are right. In secret I have been practicing for days now; I'm only awaiting my chances.

My Food

From now on I feel ready to have two spoon feedings a day. I kill my hunger with sunflower seeds (mashed), some fruit (peeled) and some vegetables (slightly cooked, not salted). Also, I am able to drink some cooled off boiled water all by myself now. Ain't I a-growin'?

Big Baby

Yet another breakthrough! I can balance on a perch all by myself for hours and hours now. But later in the evening, I got sleepy and decided to go back to my hot-water-bottle. Yep, I know I've got feathers on my wings and down all over my body now. Nevertheless, it makes me feel comfortable and at home so my family still provides me with one.

Eight Weeks

Eight weeks old! There is a dark side to that however, because from now on I am only allowed to have two spoon feedings a day. I have to learn to eat all by myself now. Fortunately, my family decided to wait a few days. They think I am not ready yet and to be honest, I completely agree. It is too soon for me and I would starve without a third meal. Thank you for being so attentive, dear parents!

About Chico

Before I was born, my family had a little dog, a Chihuahua called Chico. He used to have his own homepage just like me and when he died Sophia put Chico's Memorial Page on the Internet (this site has been discontinued later, but if you are really interested, your can still view his original site; see I heard my family say to each other that they'd never thought that a parrot (tha's a-me, folks) could be counted as anywhere near a replacement of a dog. Of course they miss Chico still, but I am happy that I give them plenty of laughs myself. I can feel they love me and I think I am able to return that very well.

Watching Television

I love it when the family members watch television together. I sit on one of theirs laps and try to make myself invisible. If they don't see me, perhaps they'll forget that I am there and leave me on their lap for hours. Sometimes Sophia does, too. Lucky me.

Out of the Box

This evening I had the time of my life. During my play hour (after dinner), my family put me on the floor in the living room and let me explore the whole wide world outside my cardboard box. What a joy! I went completely bananas and tried to climb on everybody's hands and feet and picked up everything I found on the floor (like a set of bright colored baby toy keys and a crust of old bread that miraculously grew there). Life is FUN, no doubt about that.

Do! Re! Mi Mi Mi!

I am exploring my vocal chords from A to Z. I make sounds my family would never have thought possible. I am not sure yet if I will use my voice for speaking or just for making noise, but in time we all will find out.

Perched on a Perch

Another breakthrough! Today, for the first time, very wobbly, I sat on a real perch! Jan nailed a twig to a platform so it can't roll away. After one minute I got tired though, so I stepped off again. Jan is very afraid that I might hurt myself, so he made sure the whole perch was no further from the floor than a quarter of an inch.
And now, if you will excuse me, I have an important job to do. I have to dig a hole in the sawdust. I do that several times a day, for no reason I can think of. I guess I just like to see the sawdust fly around and have Hilke moan again.

Weighing In

My family weighed me just after I had my dinner. I am proud to announce that I am no less than 534 grams: almost 100 grams more than last week! Being seven weeks old I am supposed to weigh 470 grams, so no problems can be expected there. And that in only one week!

Seven Weeks Old

Today I am seven weeks old. My wings are almost feathered now and all my family members think that I am a strong and handsome male Grey. However, I am very secretive about my true gender and let them guess as much as they want. I alone, and only me, knows the truth, and I ain't a-tellin' nobody... unless I start laying eggs in a distant future.

More Cuddles

Sophia and I have a mutual arrangement. She likes to put her cheek on my back and I like to cuddle with her hair. We both enjoy it thoroughly.

Talk About Talking

My family is convinced I will be a talker in the future. I like it when I hear music and singing. Harmonica music is my absolute favorite! Jan is a professional harmonica player so I guess I will hear a lot of that again in the future. That suits me fine; I love the high-pitched sound of it. Also, Sophia showed me how to whistle a tune and taught me the wolf whistle; soon I will be able to do it myself. For now I am still satisfied with just listening.

Cuddles & Naps

Once and for all I made clear to my family what my favorite caress spots are. I love to be scratched on my head and cheek. It makes me close my eyes and sit completely still. Go on Sophia, don't stop now! I require attention for at least half an hour, before I have a little nap again.

Parrot or... Rooster?

I have started to explore my whole box. My family put a new budgie bell in the middle of the box and a little kitten ball on the other side. Overcoming mountainous piles and ravine deep gapes of sawdust (at least half an inch up and half an inch down), I managed to reach all corners of my box to play with all these toys. It made me so happy: my family thought they had obtained a rooster instead of a parrot. Except my crowing sounds a little too high still.

Doctor's Checkup

Today I went for my first visit to the vet's. That was an event! I went with Jan and Sophia and traveled to a special parrot doctor by car. And guess what? I am healthy, good-looking and strong for my age! Not that I didn't know that myself all along...


This morning I received a nice new cardboard box. I still sleep on the bottom on a layer of sawdust, but everybody can see that I am growing up fast. My feather pins are almost an inch long now and I've got baby down all over my body. Also, I can lift my wings and practice my flying without my head falling back on the floor each time. See how strong I get?

Weight Watchers

Sophia read an article on the Internet on the average weight of baby Greys. She read that I should be 437 grams with six weeks of age, so she decided today is the day to weigh me right away. I was only 398 grams! Immediately after they gave me my baby formula I weighed 433 grams, so I guess there is nothing to worry about. Relax, people!

Feeding Time

Now I know for sure that I love my new family. Sometimes they spoil me too much, but fortunately they realize that I need my rest as well! Also they know that they should not overfeed me, because they were warned that my crop must be completely empty before I get the next meal. And the temperature of the baby formula! If it is too hot, I am at risk of crop burn, but if it too cold, I would refuse to eat anything, no matter how hungry I would be. Sophia read an article about crop burn. She is very, very happy that Jan is such a perfect parrot mother. My meals are never too hot or too cold! Tomorrow I will be six weeks old, so from then on I will only receive my meals three times a day.

Flying? No way!

Every day I learn something new. I practice everything, especially my flying. Well, I call it flying anyway. I can't lift my feet half an inch from the floor, or if you want to be specific about it: I can't even raise my head or my wings. My family said that when I am training my wings, I look like a gigantic bee with my head on the floor and my bum in the air like that; especially because I don't have any feathers yet. They'll develop, don't worry. I'm only a baby still.

About the Family

I came to know more about my new family. There are three humans: Jan and Hilke van der Nent and their grown-up daughter Sophia. They live in a nice house in a quiet neighborhood in a little town called Winterswijk, in the Netherlands. I have written something about their lives and hobbies: (see the new location at

The Second Day

I think my fate is not as bad as I had feared. In the middle of the night one of my new family members gave me a new hot water bottle to keep me warm. Also, to comfort me on my first full day in my new house, the whole family decided to stay at home all day! They took a lot of pictures and filmed me almost the whole time; I almost feel like a movie star. I am so young that they still have to feed me by hand four times a day. I think they did an excellent job, considering they have never done it before. I didn't even care that more baby formula landed on the table and on my chin than in my little crop. I know they care about me and really love me.

My New Home

Today was a very special day in my life: I was taken to a completely new house, new family, new environment... help! What are they going to do to me?! Am I here to stay? Will I see my parents again? I certainly hope I will like it here. We'll wait and see. So far it has not been all that bad: they have put me in a cardboard box and left me alone with a hot water bottle. I am glad they did this, because I am really tired now.